City land bank approved to purchase blighted properties in Lancaster City to assist city rejuvenation

Lancaster City, PA: After reviewing findings about vacant and tax-delinquent property’s effects on the city’s social and economic vitality, City Council voted to create a city land bank to help diminish blight.

The City of Lancaster Land Bank Authority program will allow the city to purchase tax delinquent, condemned, or abandoned properties at judicial or tax sales before other potential buyers; transfer from the Lancaster Tax Claim Bureau, and donations of property are also permitted for the land bank.

 “The City of Lancaster Land Bank Authority is authorized to discharge liens and other municipal claims, charges or fines of the City of Lancaster and may seek to enter into an agreement for discharges from the applicable municipal body against the properties that it acquires. For the duration of the time a property is held by the City of Lancaster Land Bank Authority, the Land Bank is authorized to abate all real estate taxes, water and sewer charges and other municipal charges by the City of Lancaster and, to the extent necessary, may seek abatement or non-taxable status from other applicable government entities,” according to Ordinance 1016.

The land bank will not have the power of eminent domain, and a preference will be maintained for owner-occupied properties to keep the former owner-occupants in homes acquired by the land bank.




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